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Microsoft Brings SQL Server To Linux ( 314

Mark Wilson writes: The new Microsoft has place an increased importance on the cloud, and with other companies following suit, reliance on server solutions has increased. Today the company announces that it is bringing SQL Server to Linux. Both cloud and on-premises versions will be available, and the news has been welcomed by the likes of Red Hat and Canonical. Although the Linux port of SQL Server is not due to make an appearance until the middle of next year, a private preview version is being available to testers starting today. While the full launch of SQL Server for Linux is not due until the middle of 2017, SQL Server 2016 is expected to launch later this year.
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Microsoft Brings SQL Server To Linux

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  • Haha (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    April 1st isn't for another month silly.

  • Haha (Score:4, Funny)

    by nbritton ( 823086 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @07:15PM (#51655919)

    April 1st isn't for another month.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 07, 2016 @07:16PM (#51655931)

    That explosion and mushroom cloud was Steve Ballmer's head exploding.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just what Linux needed!

  • by Assmasher ( 456699 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @07:20PM (#51655945) Journal temperatures reportedly fall all over hell.

  • by MAXOMENOS ( 9802 ) <maxomai@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday March 07, 2016 @07:21PM (#51655953) Homepage
    It looks like Microsoft is well on their way towards embracing Linux. Of course, what worries me is what comes AFTER embracing and extending. You old-time Slashdotters know what I'm talking about, right?
    • Immobilizing and straddling?
    • by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @07:49PM (#51656087)

      Not "embrace, extend, extinguish", but a classic bait ("SQL Server on Linux!!!) and switch ("but if you want all the features, buy Windows Server.")

      • We call it "freemium model". Try to keep up. Bonus: Here's a text editor for £0.99 if you want it without advertising banners :)

      • by dave420 ( 699308 )

        That's not at all what a bait and switch is.

        • by Nutria ( 679911 )

          That's not at all what a bait and switch is.

          I dunno. [] a sales tactic in which a customer is attracted by the advertisement of a low-priced item but is then encouraged to buy a higher-priced one seems pretty much what I wrote, since the core-only Linux-version will be cheaper than the full-featured Windows version.

  • On mobile Microsoft has pretty much given up and support Android and iOS as well or better than Windows Mobile now now on the Server side we've already seen .Net moving fast to Linux and now the third biggest lock in application on Windows Server(AD and Exchange being bigger) is coming to Linux. With AD and Exchange being pushed more towards hosted services in the cloud, Windows' future doesn't look too bright there.

    • by MonkeyBob ( 904999 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @07:31PM (#51656011)

      Microsoft's acquisition of Xamarin is more about enhancing the market share of the toolsets than "giving up" on Windows.

      Compiling for Windows is ridiculously easy with Xamarin, and with the acquisition I can see them enhancing the toolset for Android and iOS to make this easier than it is now.

      I believe that this is more about making SQL Server skills (programming, not administration) more compatible across platforms, which enables people to learn one technology and move platforms easier.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        Wait, how do you have a starting score of -1?

      • ...which enables people to learn one technology and move platforms easier.

        People would be better served by learning PostgreSQL. It's very liberating.

  • An idea (Score:5, Funny)

    by amightywind ( 691887 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @07:25PM (#51655975) Journal
    Perfect. Maybe systemd can use it for logging, like a modern operating system.
  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @07:26PM (#51655985)

    How long before we see a version of "Microsoft Linux"?

    You laugh now, but I can see them glomming onto Linux, especially as more businesses and desktop move over to Linux.

    And yes, of course it will have subtle incompatibilities that grow more and more pronounced over time. That's what it's all about with Microsoft.

    "MS Linux- Because We Care" or maybe, MS Linux- The Most Stable OS We've Ever Produced!*


    * and by "produced", we mean "stolen"

    • Re:How long.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by darkain ( 749283 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @07:33PM (#51656023) Homepage

      "How long before we see a version of "Microsoft Linux"?"

      About six months ago []

    • How long before we see a version of "Microsoft Linux"?

      I'd be way cool with that, as long as they get rid of the command line and include Cortana.

    • How long before we see a version of "Microsoft Linux"?

      Don't you mean Windows Server 2018?

    • There is a Microsoft product I would be willing to buy though.

      Imagine Microsoft releases the Windows Interface Layer. Allowing you to run all your windows applications on any platform.

    • Actually, it could be a very good business move - have a M$ desktop to compete with KDE, gnome etc..a M$ wine - Reduce the cost of supporting their cash cow - allow running native Linux programs.

      At some point they have to ask what their business model of the future is - what they have isn't going to last. M$ office is a money maker - many other ventures continue to simply bleed. Win10 is most making their customers distrustful. Without the sweetheart ( Cartel socialism) government deals they have, they w

      • "At some point they have to ask what their business model of the future is"

        Renting and certifications, of course.

  • I don't see how SqlServer can compete against Postgresql. The only thing SqlServer had going for it was integration with .Net framework.
    • Re:Postgresql (Score:5, Informative)

      by Faw ( 33935 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @07:41PM (#51656055)

      I don't see how SqlServer can compete against Postgresql. The only thing SqlServer had going for it was integration with .Net framework.

      .. and real stored procedures.

      • by unimacs ( 597299 )

        I don't see how SqlServer can compete against Postgresql. The only thing SqlServer had going for it was integration with .Net framework.

        .. and real stored procedures.

        What features do stored procedures provide that can't be handled with postgresql functions?

        Outside of starting and ending transactions within the function I can't think of anything. Parameters can be input or output and you can modify tables. These are normally things that people with an SQL Server background believe can't be done within functions but in postgres they can.

        Postgres isn't a perfect database but it's extremely powerful with new features being added all the time. It has a lot to offer for

        • Re:Postgresql (Score:5, Interesting)

          by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @08:54PM (#51656353)

          You're under the impression that businesses only care about a free pricetag.

          Businesses care about the lowest price that gets you the best support. I spent months trying to find a DBA who knew anything about Postgres, but if you have an opening for SQL server, you need a frontloader to get through the crowd of them.

          Yeah, few, if any of them are what you'd call geniuses, but I really only need one or two geniuses at a time to tell the data monkeys what to do. And if I have to pay genius rates for a data monkey, then perhaps I'm willing to pay for a database something that has higher adoption and high integration.

          SQL Server is no slouch for features and while it is not free, you have a better pool for support and integration.

          Note, aside from being unable to find a Postgres data monkey, that isn't my story. I don't use SQL Server, but I have the luxury of knowing how to operate a SQL database myself, so I just sucked it up. For businesses where that isn't really an option, I can see why they might want SQL Server. And indeed, many, many businesses do use it.

          • by unimacs ( 597299 )
            No, I'm not under than impression that businesses only care about a free price tag but not having deal with licensing issues is really, really nice. Besides few organizations really need a postgres DBA (or an SQL Server DBA).

            If you're concerned about installation and support, you can get it through Enterprise DB and other sources. The postgres community is also an excellent source of support. I've been using postgres for close to 15 years and I've never ran into a problem that made me wish I had some sor
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            TL;DR version:

            Q: What does Stored Procedures provide that you don't get with PostgreSQL functions?
            A: A pricetag.

            I'm not really sure if you are arguing for or against MS SQL Server.

        • Because people think stored procedures are magic. They're to SQL as microcode was to processors.

          I think you're better off avoiding stored procedures unless one can prove a significant performance benefit, and I think that's unlikely. I prefer all my code in ONE place

          • "I think you're better off avoiding stored procedures unless one can prove a significant performance benefit"

            Because? Data integrity belongs to the data manager.

            "I prefer all my code in ONE place"

            If you think "your" code should be the only one accessing *my* data, think it twice: it's not yours to lock it out. And once *my* data gets to be accessed from more than one place, I want data integrity/access rules to be centralized for them all where they belong: the data manager.

            I might be wrong, but you look

        • by Faw ( 33935 )

          What features do stored procedures provide that can't be handled with postgresql functions?

          For me database independence is important. Stored procedures let me do that. I can move from MS SQL to MYSQL or even something like HSQLDB if I wanted. All I need to do is write a procedure for said database and point my application to that database. No change in application code.

          Hardcoding the SQL in your application marries you to the database you choose. I see stored procedures as a prenup agreement for databases. We get married but if you become a pain in the ass I can easily move on without losing half

      • Re:Postgresql (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @08:44PM (#51656323)

        And performance, and scalability, and encryption, and replication, and backup / restoration, and reporting / analysis, and tuning / optimization, and...

        MS wears some big ol' clown shoes (see my recent submission about the botched Win 10 update), but SQL Server, with all its various components, is an industry-leading product for good reason. The only other solution I've seen serious people use is Oracle, and they only admit to it sheepishly, like a shamed victim.

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by Shompol ( 1690084 )
          BS. Performance is shit. Also a permanent deadlock of everything, even seemingly unrelated stuff. Both cached and dynamic queries regularly going off the deep end. Despite MS going around and taking down bad reviews, what few online reviews survive attest that MSSQL is comlete and utter garbage. As someone who is forced to use it on a daily basis I can attest that they have a point.
      • TL/DR: About a 5x-10x CPU and Disk I/O improvement migrating a pretty large project from [a major proprietary database mentioned in the article]* see edit below to Postgres. CPU and Disk I/O Graphs below.

        Here's one data point - based on from experience migrating a pretty big system from [a major proprietary database mentioned in the article] to Postgres, I think the two biggest advantages Postgres has are:

        GIST and GIN indexes (and soon BRIN indexes), and

        Writeable CTEs.

        We migrated a very busy, pretty large (24 CPU core, 256GB RAM, 20TB disk space) system from [a major proprietary database mentioned in the article] to Postgres about a year ago. These graphs measuring CPU and disk activity provide a nice visualization of the improvement: []

        Note that with [a major proprietary database mentioned in the article], all 24 CPU cores in the system were over 40% utilized (and growing) 24x7 most days a year. After a pretty naive port (November to May in the graph) the CPU load fell to an average of about 10%, and the disk array's queue length fell from painful to near zero. After adding some Postgres-specific code, we got it down to an average of near 5% (shown in the most recent month in the graph).

        CPU differences seem to have been mostly related to the availability of GIN indexes in Postgres, which can be much more efficient on certain types of data (like the OpenStreetMap road network).

        Disk I/O improvements seems to be mostly related to Postgres's far more compact storage of XML data. Seems SQL Server stores XML data using 2-bytes-per-character for the data itself; and on top of that adds extremely large indexes. In contrast, the "toast" feature in Postgres means the XML data takes an average of less than one byte per character for the data and its "functional index" feature allowed for far more compact indexes. One of our XML-heavy databases went from over 600GB in SQL Server down to 140GB in Postgres, with more efficient indexes.

        For a few months we tried to stay database-agnostic so it'd be easy to port back if we needed to -- but after a while we started adding Postgres specific changes. The benefits of those Postgres specific changes can be seen near the end of those graphs. An enormous improvement occurred when we changed the inserts and updates to use the Writable CTE features following recommendations someone outlined here []


        In the end, Postgres looks to me like it's saving us like 5X in hardware costs as we continue to grow.

        Edit: I'm told this proprietary database vendor dislikes users publishing benchmark results [] comparing their software to F/OSS databases. I'd argue that this is more of an anecdote than a benchmark; but just in case I edited the comment to remove the vendor and product name from the parts that talk about performance.

        Disclaimer: As mentioned in a comment below, we tried to tune each the systems to the best of our team's abilities, but aren't really experts in tuning either database system. No doubt each system's results could be improved by people who were deeply available with each databases internals (which I argue is much easier to find for Postgres, since its mailing lists have thousands of people familiar with the internal code).

        • by rbrander ( 73222 )

          Awesome story. I'd wondered about Postgres and heavy-duty jobs; turns out it's as impressive as touted.

          I worked 25 years in an Oracle shop, from Oracle 6.1 to Oracle 12c; assumed everything else, certainly FLOSS stuff, had to be toy products by comparison.

          Then I tried PostGIS because I was working with the new free GIS program, QGIS, and PostGIS isn't just a free RDBMS, it's a geodatabase. Soon, I found it was handling gigabytes of map data in an eyeblink - on a laptop. The more reading I did on it, the

        • In case anyone's wondering how parent managed to "edit" his Slashdot post: this is a verbatim copy from a Reddit post [].
    • by Skinkie ( 815924 )
      Most database products (even open source ones) compete very well against PostgreSQL because the support of parallel query execution has been supported for years. PostgreSQL has only recently added some features in the direction. And we are not talking about N clients to 1 server, but 1 server with 1 query where only 1 CPU is used in the PostgreSQL case, and others automatically spread the workload.

      Some other tricks from SQLserver are obviously the integration services (Extract-Transform-Load) and Analysis
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      I don't see how SqlServer can compete against Postgresql. The only thing SqlServer had going for it was integration with .Net framework.

      Focusing on the database server itself is like picking one part out of MS Office and thinking that's it. Integration services, reporting services and analysis services all work together to make SQL Server your one-stop shop for everything. If I was looking for just a database, none of the other bits I'd go with PostgreSQL. I see there's some other various tools but they seem a lot less mature than Microsoft's stuff, I guess it should be possible to use PostgreSQL as a backend via ODBC or OLE DB but it seems

    • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

      SQL Server fits in a very neat niche between your MySQLs and your Oracle type servers. It was once explained to me that while SQL Server can't do what Oracle does, it has features that allow it to hit the mid-range for enterprises very well, better than many of the favorite lower end DBs like MySQL, PostgresSQL and now MariaDB. And of course, its integration with Windows Server boxes didn't hurt with adoption either.

      And yes, I know that the PostgresDBs of the world can be quite powerful and do heavy lifti

    • The only thing SqlServer had going for it was integration with .Net framework.

      That's how.
      (Note: other databases have integrations with .Net framework too, but performance might suffer).

  • They are more than happy to let you spin up a linux instance on Azure. Having their stack work across them all seems like a reasonable thing to do.

  • Imagine a beowulf cluster of these!
  • It will probably perform a helluva lot better on Linux. Even more interesting is Microsoft's shifting stance on open source.
  • by rduke15 ( 721841 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .51ekudr.> on Monday March 07, 2016 @08:53PM (#51656349)

    Sounds like a joke? No I'm serious.

    I don't need yet another database in Linux. PostgreSQL is fine, thank you. Even MySQL/MariaDB are OK.

    What I miss is a GUI interface to these databases, which would allow me to quickly build GUI applications for users. MS Access can show PostgreSQL data to users in quickly designed forms and reports. And these can have some (horrible) VBA code to make a few things faster and easier for the users. Without Access, I have to make HTML interfaces, which works fine for simple reports, but gets really clumsy and slow for complex interactive forms.

    (Yes, I know about PGadmin. It's great for me, and I use it regularly. But it's not for designing custom user interfaces to databases)

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @08:56PM (#51656371)

    We'll port systemd to Windows!

  • I think M$FT realized that they couldn't scale their cloud architecture on windows so they started porting Azure services to run on Linux. May as well release their linux versions..
  • Not only is SQL Server coming to Linux, but it's already being integrated into systemd!
  • by Gumbercules!! ( 1158841 ) on Tuesday March 08, 2016 @09:53AM (#51658499)
    So it's an SQL Injection attack, on Linux?

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.